Copper Rebounds From Losses Fueled by Trade Fears

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Copper prices climbed Monday, as investors second-guessed some of the industrial metal’s heavy losses of recent weeks.

Copper for September delivery was up 0.9% to $2.85 a pound. Prices for copper, which is extensively used in manufacturing and construction, suffered their worst four-week stretch since 2011 through Friday, tumbling 15% after hitting a four-year high as investors focused on trade threats.

Gold for August delivery was up 0.3% to $1,259.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The WSJ Dollar Index hit its lowest level since mid-June before rallying later in the session. The index was up 0.1% at 87.67 midafternoon on Monday.

A weaker dollar makes dollar-denominated commodities like metals less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Base metals prices were pummeled over the past month by ongoing investor anxieties over the prospect of a trade war between the U.S. and China. The U.S. imposed a 25% tariff on $34 billion in imports from China, and China retaliated in kind.

Copper prices are down almost 14.3% this year, falling alongside other industrial metals. But some think those selloffs have been overdone.

“Direct trade hits to gross domestic product would likely cause limited impacts on copper demand unless the situation escalates to an all-out U.S.-versus-the-world trade war,” ING strategists said in a note.

While investors were taking advantage of lower copper prices Monday, tepid supply and demand balances in the global market may limit the longevity of the metal’s recovery.

Write to David Hodari at and Ira Iosebashvili at

Appeared in the July 10, 2018, print edition as ‘Copper Prices Pick Up Strength After Recent Slide.’

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